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  Dean's greeting

As I approach the end of my fourth year as Dean of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, I am reminded of other Oberlin anniversaries.

The year 2002 marked the 50th anniversary of Oberlin's Opera Theater Department. Remarkably, the fall opera, Smetana's The Bartered Bride, was the very opera performed here 50 years ago, and in the audience were Ruth Bent '52 and Herb Henke '53, both of whom had significant roles in the 1952 production.

Another notable anniversary in 2002 was 100 years of music education at the Conservatory. In 1902 William Horner founded at Oberlin the nation's first school-music course, which Dr. Karl Wilson Gehrkens '05 continued and which would lead, in 1921, to the first four-year college-degree program in music education in the United States.

This is the 35th year of Winter Term at Oberlin College, and this term's symposia, lectures, and outreach have spanned the disciplines and the globe. In addition to the on-campus activities of Conservatory students and faculty, such as a Hugo Wolf centennial project and a performance of Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, notable activities off-campus have included a student string quartet residency at the Smithsonian Institution; organ, harpsichord, and voice concerts in Naples, Florida; an entirely student-run eight-state tour of the deep South by the Oberlin Jazz Septet; and the Panama Project featuring instruction and performances in Panama by Oberlin string and wind students.

The 2003-04 season is the 125th anniversary of the Artist Recital Series at Oberlin, one of the oldest continuing concert series in the United States. We will mark that anniversary with yet another - the 50th anniversary of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's recording of Jazz at Oberlin during a Finney Chapel concert. Catapulted to fame by that album, the quartet will return to Oberlin October 4, 2003, as part of the anniversary series. Other artists in the series are violinist Ida Haendel, the Tallis Scholars, the Gryphon Trio, pianist Lang Lang, eighth blackbird (all Oberlin alumni), baritone Sanford Sylvan with pianist and Oberlin faculty member David Breitman, the American Brass Quintet, and the venerable Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Franz Welser-Möst.

We will soon celebrate the 140th anniversary of the Conservatory and the 170th anniversary of the appointment of Elihu Parsons Ingersoll to the faculty of Oberlin College - the first professor of music at any American college.

And let us not overlook the fact that 2003 is the 170th anniversary of the founding of Oberlin College. Finally, just in case no one has been counting, next year will be the 10th anniversary of the appointment of President Nancy S. Dye as President of Oberlin College.

Given Oberlin's illustrious history, each year will herald significant milestones.
I know you join me in appreciating the great traditions and legacies of the past as we seek renewed resolve and vitality for the years to come.

Robert K. Dodson